Philippine Evergreen vs Chinese Evergreen: Plant Comparison

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Philippine Evergreen and Chinese Evergreen are both popular houseplants that belong to the Aglaonema genus and the Araceae family. These tropical perennials are known for their stunning, leathery foliage, making them ideal additions to any indoor space. Despite their similarities, there are some key differences that set these evergreen plants apart from one another, which is what we’ll be exploring in this article.

Philippine Evergreen, also known as Aglaonema, is appreciated for its ability to thrive in various lighting conditions, even under fluorescent lights. With its oval-shaped leaves showcasing silver, green, and variegated patterns, this plant offers a beautiful texture and visual appeal for any room. On the other hand, Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema spp.) consists of over 20 different species, each with large, glossy, oval leaves and vibrant color combinations. It is also known as the Poison Dart Plant due to its ornamental leaves that attract attention.

As we delve deeper into the characteristics that set these two evergreens apart, keep in mind that each plant has its unique care requirements and growth habits. Understanding these differences will help you select the perfect evergreen for your home, ensuring that it thrives and maintains its beauty for years to come.

Philippine Evergreen vs Chinese Evergreen

Botanical Differences

Philippine Evergreen

Philippine Evergreen and Chinese Evergreen are both members of the Araceae family and belong to the genus Aglaonema. They have some similarities, particularly in their leaf shape and growth habits. However, they can be distinguished by the presence or absence of certain features.

Philippine Evergreen is known as Aglaonema commutatum, characterized by its relatively few main lateral veins (5-8), which helps distinguish it from other similar plants like Dieffenbachia. Its leaves tend to be more uniformly green, and its growth habit is erect and bushy.

On the other hand, Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema spp.) encompasses a diverse group of plants with many different varieties. Some popular options, such as Aglaonema ‘Sparkling Sarah’, have large, variegated leaves with splashes of other colors like pink. Chinese Evergreens generally have more lateral veins than Philippine Evergreens, contributing to the patterns and variegation on their leaves.

Origins and Distribution

Chinese Evergreen

Both Philippine and Chinese Evergreens originate from tropical regions in Asia. Philippine Evergreen, as the name suggests, is native to the Philippines and northeastern Celebes, where it naturally thrives in the understory of forests.

Chinese Evergreen has a wider distribution, encompassing parts of China, Laos, and Vietnam. Many cultivated varieties of Chinese Evergreen have been hybridized from these wild species to create attractive plants with impressive foliage, perfect for indoor cultivation as houseplants.

In conclusion, while both Philippine and Chinese Evergreens belong to the same plant family and genus, they exhibit subtle botanical differences and distinct natural distributions. These factors make them unique and attractive options for plant enthusiasts or anyone looking to add some greenery to their home.

Growing Requirements

Temperature and Humidity

Philippine Evergreen and Chinese Evergreen both thrive in warm temperatures and high humidity. These tropical plants prefer daytime temperatures in the 70 to 80°F range and nighttime temperatures around 65 to 70°F. They require a humidity level of at least 30%, which can be increased by grouping pots together or misting the plant.

Soil and Fertilization

The soil requirements for both plants are quite similar. They prefer slightly acidic, well-drained potting soil. Fertilization is crucial for growth and vibrant foliage; apply a general-purpose houseplant fertilizer once or twice a year.


When it comes to watering, both plants have comparable needs. They prefer a relatively moist growing medium, but overwatering should be avoided. Water these plants directly on the soil and adjust the frequency based on temperature and humidity conditions. During warmer months, like summer, the Chinese Evergreen requires more frequent watering to maintain optimum humidity levels.

Care and Maintenance


Proper pruning is essential to maintain the beauty and health of your Philippine Evergreen and Chinese Evergreen plants. Remove yellowing or dead leaves to keep the foliage looking fresh and vibrant. It’s important to use clean, sharp pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant. Regularly inspect the plant for any signs of pests or diseases, and take the necessary steps to treat them as early as possible.


Both Philippine Evergreen and Chinese Evergreen can be propagated through stem cuttings and division methods. Here are simple steps on how to do both types of propagation:

Stem Cuttings:

  1. Select a healthy, mature stem with at least two leaves
  2. Use a clean, sharp tool to cut the stem just below a leaf node
  3. Remove the lower leaves, leaving only the top two
  4. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone for improved success
  5. Plant the cutting in a moist, well-draining soil mix
  6. Keep it in a warm, humid, and shaded area during the rooting process

Division Method:

  1. Gently remove the rootball from its container by turning the pot upside down or tapping the sides
  2. Locate the natural divisions in the rootball, where smaller plants are growing
  3. Use clean, sharp scissors or a knife to separate the smaller plants from the main rootball
  4. Pot each division in fresh, well-draining soil, and provide consistent care
  5. Do not fertilize the newly separated plants for at least a month, as their roots will be sensitive

Both Philippine Evergreens and Chinese Evergreens require similar care in terms of watering, temperature, and humidity. Water them moderately and slowly from above, allowing water to soak through to the roots. Maintain the watering cadence through the spring, summer, and fall months, while tapering off in winter. Keep the plants in a well-lit area with filtered sunlight and ensure proper humidity levels.

By taking proper care of your evergreens, they’ll thrive and provide you with lush, vibrant foliage all year round.

Common Issues


One common problem that affects both Chinese and Philippine Evergreen plants is the presence of pests. These indoor plants are prone to infestations from insects such as mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids. To avoid these pests, it is essential to maintain proper care, including regular cleaning and checking for early signs of infestation. If pests are detected, try using a mild insecticidal soap or neem oil to eliminate them.


Another common issue with Chinese and Philippine Evergreens is various plant diseases caused by factors such as improper watering and poor soil quality. Two major diseases that affect these plants include root rot and leaf spot.

  • Root Rot: This disease occurs when the plant’s roots are constantly sitting in waterlogged soil, leading to decay. To prevent root rot, ensure the soil drains well, and avoid overwatering.
  • Leaf Spot: This disease is caused by fungus or bacteria that create discolored, necrotic spots on the plant’s leaves. To avoid leaf spot, maintain proper humidity levels and avoid getting the plant’s leaves wet during watering.

By addressing pests and diseases early, you can ensure that your Chinese and Philippine Evergreen plants remain healthy and vibrant. Remember to follow a proper care routine and promptly attend to any issues you encounter to keep these stunning plants thriving in your home.

Uses in Landscaping and Decorative Purposes

Philippine Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum) and Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema species) are both popular choices for landscaping and decorative purposes due to their attractive foliage and hardiness. These plants can enhance the aesthetic value of your outdoor and indoor spaces, and they are relatively easy to care for.

The Philippine Evergreen is a tropical shrub native to the Philippines and northeastern Celebes. It grows up to 1.5 feet in height, with an erect and bushy appearance[^]. This plant is known to be fairly adaptable and can thrive in locations with a medium amount of natural light. Since it’s one of the most durable houseplants, it can be placed within 5 feet of a window, making sure to avoid bright, sunny, or overly warm areas.

On the other hand, Chinese Evergreen is also an ideal choice for houseplant due to its adaptability. Chinese Evergreens feature colorful and vibrant foliage, which becomes even more striking when fertilized with a general-purpose houseplant fertilizer once or twice a year. These plants prefer a room temperature of around 70 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit and should be kept away from drafts to prevent their leaves from browning.

When it comes to landscaping, evergreens can serve multiple purposes. They can be used for:

  • Ornamental displays in garden beds or borders.
  • Providing a natural barrier or screen to separate areas, block noise, pollution, and improve air quality.
  • Creating a visually appealing, low-maintenance ground cover in shaded garden areas.
  • Enhancing indoor spaces as decorative houseplants.

In summary, Philippine Evergreen and Chinese Evergreen plants are versatile options for landscaping and decorative purposes both indoors and outdoors. Their distinctive foliage, adaptability, and relatively low maintenance requirements make them popular choices for enhancing the aesthetics of various spaces.


The Philippine Evergreen and Chinese Evergreen plants are both members of the Aglaonema genus and belong to the Araceae family. They make excellent houseplants due to their attractive foliage, adaptability to low light, and easy care requirements.

Key differences between the two include:

  • Native Habitat: The Philippine Evergreen is native to the Philippines, while the Chinese Evergreen can be found in the Philippines and northeastern Celebes.
  • Growth Habit: Chinese Evergreens generally grow 1-3 feet tall and wide in indoor conditions, whereas the Philippine Evergreen can reach up to 1.5 feet in height.
  • Temperature Preferences: Chinese Evergreens prefer temperatures between 65-85°F, while the optimal temperature range for the Philippine Evergreen is not well documented.

Both plants share similarities in care requirements:

  • Light: They can thrive in low-light conditions, making them suitable for rooms with limited natural sunlight.
  • Fertilization: Both plants benefit from fertilization with a general-purpose houseplant fertilizer once or twice a year.
  • Watering: Keep their soil consistently moist but not waterlogged, allowing it to dry slightly between watering.

In conclusion, although there are differences between the Philippine and Chinese Evergreens, they share many similarities, particularly in their care requirements and adaptability to various indoor conditions. Both plants offer stunning foliage and an overall attractive appearance, making them popular choices for indoor gardening enthusiasts.

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